There has been stiff condemnation of a double gun attack in which one of the victims was shot three times in the chest – and survived.
The attack occurred in the early hours of yesterday morning at Whitehill Drive in Bangor, to the south of the town centre.
A second man was also wounded, having been shot once in the leg.
It is understood the pair were outside at the time.
One of the victims was aged in their 20s and the other in their 30s, but police did not say which was which. Nor did they say whether the victims were living in the area or not.
DUP MLA Alex Easton issued a statement, saying: “I’d firstly like to condemn the shooting of these two men which is totally unacceptable and barbaric; this is not what we want to see in Whitehill or the wider community.”
He said it was lucky nobody had died as a result.
His colleague, Gordon Dunne, said he was “appalled” by the violence, adding: “This whole incident has sent shockwaves through the local community.”
David Symington, NI Conservatives, said: “This is the kind of story which Bangor could do without. Whitehill is a close community and hopefully police will find out what happened quickly.”
The area where the gun attack occurred is largely terraced houses and flats, next to large, open playing fields.
Union Flags were on display and there was a Red Hand Commando-style logo on one of the buildings. No residents who the News Letter spoke to said they heard the gunshots.
One short-term resident, chip shop worker David Wood, 28, said it followed robberies in the area, and was the final straw for him.
“I was actually on [website] Gumtree looking to move house,” he said from his garden, behind a line of police tape.
“We were debating it the last couple of weeks, and saw that and thought: to hell with it.”
Others were unperturbed.
Alan Graham, a 63-year-old retired electrical designer, said he had slept through the attack and only found out what was happening mere doors away when a friend contacted him.
“I’ve worked out in Saudi Arabia, so nothing surprises me now,” he said.
Stephen Dunlop, a 68-year-old retired Shorts worker, said: “It surprised me up here, because it’s always very quiet. I looked out and saw the police and thought it was a car crash.”
Was he worried by it?
“Not at all,” he said. “I’ve done nothing for anybody to be worried about. When you work in Belfast all the years I did, you get used to these sort of things.”
Victim in stable condition
Both victims were taken to the Ulster Hospital.
The South Eastern Trust said the man with the chest wounds is in a stable condition.
The man with the leg wound discharged himself, against medical advice, in the early hours of the morning.
It is not known what type of firearm was used in the shooting. Nearby resident Leonard Finlay, 55, and unemployed, said it had been a “long, long, long time” since there was such an incident in the area.
“I wonder what kind of gun they used,” he said. “Usually, if you get one in the chest, you’re a dead man. Three in the chest...?”